Verizon FiOS 'Man Cave' contest wins over Pittsburgh sports fans

Last fall, Verizon FiOS completed its city franchising agreement to expand its services from Pittsburgh's outer rings to the city.

Client: Verizon
PR agency: Winning Strategies
Campaign: Verizon FiOS Man Cave Makeover
Duration: October 2009-January 2010
Budget: About $170,000

Last fall, Verizon FiOS completed its city franchising agreement to expand its services from Pittsburgh's outer rings to the city. Recognizing the need to engage consumers in a way that was unique to the region, the company hired Winning Strategies to help penetrate the market.

"We wanted to launch with a big share of voice," says Mark Adams, Verizon FiOS' mid-Atlantic marketing director. "It was all about sales, increasing penetration, and taking share from Comcast."

Strategy
Verizon sought to capitalize on the city's sports passion with an interactive "Man Cave Makeover" contest to win a home entertainment center and FiOS services. It also hired Ryan Clark, star player for the Steelers, as spokesperson.

"We needed to express Pittsburgh's own love of sports and extrapolate that to the people who would lust after a Man Cave," says Jim McQueeny, Winning Strategies chairman.

Tactics
In a YouTube video, Clark directed consumers to a microsite where they could upload videos about why they should win. Verizon would choose a winner from the top three vote-getters.

The team hosted an October 6 media junket, followed by Meet the Fans events that took place until the contest ended on November 30. Tactics also included a football fan site and social media promotion.

Results
In its first four months in the market, FiOS' sales and penetration was about 36% greater than what the team would expect for a typical launch, says Adams. The contest generated 1,300 entries and coverage in outlets such as ESPN Radio and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Future
The team plans to continue to leverage buzz around the concept via coverage of the winner's Final Four house party.

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